More about Kodak

A contribution from Denise: this is the e-mail that freestyle is sending to their customers.

“Dear Valued Freestyle Customer,

The recent announcement by Eastman Kodak Company that they have voluntarily applied for Chapter 11 restructuring comes at no surprise. This is a situation that has been brewing for quite some time and we have received many calls and emails from customers voicing their concern over the future of silver-halide, traditional photographic materials. We have never relied too heavily on any single supplier for our future. As opposed to what you are reading in the media, interest in Film, Wet Darkroom and Historical Photographic Processes is not declining. If it were, Freestyle would very quickly be forced to change course, focusing its efforts on other products. The media tends to dwell on the negative, ignoring the details of a situation to deliver quick sound bites that will capture your attention.

Here are some facts to consider:

Kodak’s sales in their film division increased 20% last year, and this division continues to be a profitable segment. They have billions of dollars in assets. Citicorp Group just gave them $950 million to help fund their restructuring efforts which will continue for 18 months.

Sounds like Kodak will be around for a while longer and that Citicorp is pretty sure they are going to get their money back with interest. The film division seems to be doing quite well and may even prosper under new management as a separate entity. Regardless of what happens, Freestyle is prepared to make a sizable investment in product to keep important products available for years to come.

Kodak film is not the only brand of product Freestyle sells. While Kodak is an important and high volume supplier of ours, in actuality, we do more business individually with Harman Technologies in Ilford Brand B&W Film and Paper, Foma, Fotokemika and Adox brands. These brands are totally committed to continuing manufacturing for the foreseeable future and have absolutely no plans to stop production as sales continue to be quite robust. They have already taken necessary steps to restructure their facilities for long term survival.

As individual items have been discontinued over the years, folks have adapted to the ever changing product selection and have continued creating their art and means of photographic self expression. While we are to some extent limited by the availability of products it by no means hinders creativity.

Hopefully some of these thoughts will reassure those who are nervous. Know that Freestyle continues to be THE driving force in traditional photographic products and that our commitment is stronger than it has ever been.


Eric Joseph”

This is one good news. Kodak´s film division is not only profitable, but it also increased its sales by 20% last year. So, SUCK IT end-of-the-film prophets! We will have film available for a loooooong time.

Ten Reasons to Shoot Film

1. It’s still available.
2. I enjoy the feeling of handling film cameras.
3. Film cameras are small and light yet sturdy.
4. I can use top-quality lenses that are just as small.
5. The viewfinder is large, clear and bright.
6. I’m not dependent on batteries.
7. I like the way negative films handle highlights.
8. I tend to shoot with more forethought.
9. Film manufacturers are still producing better films.
10. Less reliance on a computer for processing and printing.


UPDATE 09/Feb/2012: I would add one more reason:

11. I have never seen brighter, vivid and deeper colors than a chrome on a lightbox.

Keep buying films

The best way to help film companies to keep making the films we love is we keep buying these films. My recent purchases are:

Kodak Tri-X 400. Beautifull grains. Once I use medium-format much more than 35mm – and medium-format lenses are slower than 35mm – this film is perfect for low-light shooting. Sometimes I push it to 800. These I bought during a recent trip to Buenos Aires where they are cheaper.

And these 35mm I bought on a sale on a local shop.

Fuji Acros 100. Fine grains and wonderfull grey tones. I use it for daylight shooting and sometimes for long exposure with a tripod because it has no reciprocity up to 30 minutes. They are easily found on local shops for a very affordable price.

Fuji Velvia 50. For daylight and only when I know I will find bright colors. Ken Rockwell wrote so much and so good about this film that I decided to try it. Have shoot some but didn´t develope´em yet.

Fuji Provia 400. For every situation. I love the colors it renders. Do you have a friend that thinks digital is the best and film sucks? Show him a medium-format chome in the lightbox. He may not quit digital but he will probably start shooting film.